Of Human Bondage Background

Of Human Bondage Background

Of Human Bondage is one of the most famous novels of English writer William Somerset Maugham. The novel was written in 1915. The protagonist – Philip Carey, is an orphan and is with a lame leg, which makes his life very difficult.

The novel itself is considered as an autobiographic, as there are many details from Maugham’s life. Maugham had a stammer, and Phillip had a club foot; as well as the main character Maugham has lost his mother when was a child and was sent to his uncle and aunt; Maugham also was very interested in art, though did not practice it himself. This all gives an impression of an autobiographic novel, but as Maugham said himself, even though this is true, the novel is not an autobiographical, most of it is fictional.

The title is borrowed from Spinoza’s Ethics, part IV “Of Human Bondage, or the Strength of the Emotions”. The idea of bondage as an inability of people to take control over their emotions became a monument point for Maugham to develop the plot.

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